Trump’s indictment creates a new era for the GOP. Swamp Republicans hardest hit.
The indictment and pending arraignment of Donald Trump signals a new era for the Republican Party. The move by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, not coincidentally timed to push aside discussion of documentary proof of bribes funneled by China to Biden family members, has clarified the nature of the actual political system we live under today. A Twitter thread from an account identified as Big Serge explains. (Hat tip: Mark Wauck)
One of the key fissures in American politics is that you have one party that entertains fantasies about the "Rule of Law", and another that understands that it's far more important to rule *by* law. Idealism vs instrumentalism.
Rule of law aims to eradicate arbitrary political exercise of power by imposing equitable and universal accountability to neutral laws. Rule by law simply means imposing rule and exercising political power through juridical or procedural means. Must know the difference.
When you complain about double standards and inequitable treatment, all you’re doing is showing that the other side understands power and you don’t. Loser talk.
“Hey, they’re punishing their enemies and rewarding their friends! That’s not fair!” Yes, this is called “ruling” and is the basic motivating animus of all political action. You should try it sometime.
The morning after news of the indictment was feloniously leaked (almost certainly from Bragg’s office), Timothy Jankowski wrote on these pages:
The indictment of President Trump by the Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg will determine once and for all whether the Republican party is willing to fight to preserve our country, or will tell their friends to “hold them back” as they pretend to throw punches at a much bigger foe.
The Swamp wing of the party, strongest among DC-based politicians, particularly the Senate, will be bypassed and rendered irrelevant if it does not follow the lead of predominantly state and local officials, who are well-positioned to utilize the tool that Democrats have now legitimized.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board magisterially decried what it saw coming on the day of the indictment:
The danger for America is the precedent this prosecution sets. Mr. Bragg is busting a political norm that has stood for 230 years. Once a former President and current candidate is indicted, some local Republican prosecutor will look to make a name for himself by doing the same to a Democrat. U.S. democracy will be further abused and battered. Mr. Bragg, the provincial progressive, is unleashing forces that all of us may come to regret.
But there is no going back now to the pre-banana republic days when the norms of American politics made it unthinkable to trump up highly questionable charges to take the leader of the opposition out of contention in the next election. That reticence might suit the likes of Mitch McConnell, understandably anxious for the national conversation to avoid the topic of Chinese money-buying influence, but the GOP base and many of the politicians -- especially state and local office holders -- the base elects have no such sensitivity.
Either the GOP contests the rule of Democrats by using all the tools that they use, or else the GOP loses viability by sticking with the “rule of law” norm that is nothing but an illusion at this moment. In what conceivable universe do the Democrats say, “You know, you’re right. We’ll counsel Bragg (and all those other prosecutors salivating at the prospect of their own indictments) to drop the charges”?
One of the first people to see the issue as fight or die was Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, an organization that does more (with fewer resources) to fight political corruption than anyone else I can think of.
“All bets are off. You can expect grand jury indictments of leftist politicians like Biden, Pelosi and Schumer as surely as night follows day,” said Tom Fitton, president
. “You can be sure there are prosecutors across Florida and Texas right now who are looking for a state law hook into the Biden family. And if they’re not, they’re not doing their jobs.” via nypost.com/2023/03/31/gop
“All bets are off. You can expect grand jury indictments of leftist politicians like Biden, Pelosi and Schumer as surely as night follows day,” said Tom Fitton, president @JudicialWatch.— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 31, 2023
“You can be sure there are prosecutors across Florida and Texas right now who are looking…
John Hinderaker of Powerline sees many more possible local sources of indictments:
Most of America’s district attorneys, those that have a political affiliation, are no doubt Republicans. Likewise, most attorneys general are Republicans. They all should think about Democrats who can be charged in their jurisdictions.
The Biden crime family is an obvious target. The evidence on Hunter Biden’s laptop shows that he spends (or spent) most of his time communicating with pimps and drug dealers to arrange purchases of prostitutes and illegal drugs. He did this across the country, and his activities are already documented. There are many counties in which criminal charges could be brought against him. Then we have the other Bidens, including Jim and Hallie. As I understand it, criminal charges against Joe can’t be pursued until he is out of office, but all of the other members of the crime family are exposed.
But that’s not all. Many Democratic senators mysteriously become rich in office. How do they do it? Possible answers include outright bribes and sweetheart deals which they are offered by business or organized crime groups seeking political influence. This should be looked into. Has Chuck Schumer engaged in shady financial dealings? Let’s find out. We know that Nancy Pelosi was vastly enriched during her term as Speaker of the House. How did that happen? What other Democrats have shown extraordinary increases in net worth while working for public employee salaries? Let’s investigate them.
Timothy Jankowski, cited above, points out:
[T]he Attorney General of Virginia is a Republican. This means that thousands of federal employees and retirees live under his jurisdiction. Under Bragg’s theory that federal crimes can be prosecuted at the state level, that provides a cornucopia of opportunities to investigate crimes that take place on Virginia soil by Virginia residents that affect Virginia taxpayers. The Pentagon, located in Arlington, VA can’t account for billions of dollars in any of the audits? That’s now an open invitation for the state to investigate individuals who live in its borders for any possible wrongdoings.
Stephen L. Miller of the Spectator sees Bragg as opening Pandora’s Box for the corrupt Dems:
Thanks to New York County district attorney Alvin Bragg, a former president Joe Biden is likely to live out his remaining years watching his only living son go to federal prison. He might even find himself charged as a co-conspirator in one of Hunter Biden’s several financial entanglements for which he currently finds himself under DoJ investigation.
Sure, when that day comes, the media will scream about political prosecutions and the authoritarian streak of President Ron DeSantis and his attorney general. They will write headlines about the United States becoming a banana republic and MSNBC will have to clean graphite off its roof.
None of that will matter, thanks to Alvin Bragg. Nancy Pelosi might be 137 years old, but that probably won’t stop a Republican AG or DA from indicting her for possible insider trading. Martha Stewart went to prison for less. Perhaps a prosecutor will start combing through the financials of the Clinton family. Hillary and Bill might be getting a bit too long in the tooth to be tried for any crimes, but their daughter isn’t. Several members of the Squad have faced financial ethics complaints about campaign funds, including Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Are they next?
What would or could Mitch McConnell or any other swamp-dwelling DC Republican do to stop a red state AG or a local DA from indicting Hunter Biden or Nancy Pelosi?
Don’t get me wrong. I think the loss of the norms on politicizing indictments is a tragedy. We are less of a country – and less legitimate in the eyes of the world – now that Bragg has used a “thermonuclear option.” But just as when Senate Democrats discarded the use of the filibuster in confirming judges (which was the original “thermonuclear option” metaphor in partisan politics), Republicans have the means at hand to make them regret it. And must do so.